I'm not going to lie. I'm a consumer. Sometimes, buying something pretty can feel like a guilty pleasure in large part due to the environmental impact of shopping and consumption. But, it doesn't have to be.
In recent months I've had the chance to learn much more about sustainability in the Northwest including local brands devoted to upcycling, recycling and so much more from Recology Store Manager, Brenda DeVore. To celebrate Earth Day, Dear Reader, I asked Brenda to share some of her favorite tips with Poplin. Here's are a few of her favorite tips. I hope you are receiving the Poplin Style Direction e-newsletter. You'll see more of Brenda's eco-wisdom there. She's got a lot of worthy tips!
Simple Ways for the Stylish Set to Be Green
1. Never walk out of the dry cleaner with a plastic bag or hanger.
Every year and estimated 300 million pounds of single use dry cleaning bags clog U.S. landfills and waterways. Bring your own garment bag and hangers to the cleaners or simply remove the items from the bag before you leave. After all, most people won't use the wire hangers at home, anyway. I love the Green Garmento. 4 bags in one: duffel, garment bag, laundry bag and hanging bag. Keep two on hand to rotate between the dry cleaner and the house.
2. Always bring your own shopping bag.
This one is easy, but it's also easy to forget. Keep smaller bags in your handbag, some in each car and remember to wash them periodically if they carry food.
3. Ask about packaging when you are shopping online.
Often when we buy items online they arrive in several individual plastic bags or excess packaging materials. Before you order, call the company and ask if they can reduce the shipping materials or add a note to your online order. You'd be surprised how many companies can easily accommodate your request. Or, check out company's who are trying alternatives to traditional shipping materials. TOMS is working with researchers to develop PLA packaging from locally grown potatoes that cannot be sold for consumption.
4. Recycle your unusable textiles or clothing.
The average US citizen throws away 70 pounds of used clothing every year. Why not recycle instead? Bring your unusable clothing to H&M for a coupon for 15% off one item of clothing. At Recology, we accept unusable textiles or clothing, in addition to a long list of other items that can be challenging to recycle.
5. Find new uses for old things.
I use old pillow cases to store handbags, boots or shoes.
Find more tips at Zero Waste Home from Bea Johnson. It's an inspiration for us about how to balance style and consumption.
Thanks to Brenda for sharing. When you are in Issaquah, be sure to visit the Recology Retail store. I love it so much I wrote a post about it. Happy Earth Day!
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